Furniture selections often are made for aesthetic reasons, as opposed to considering the critical aspect of how the furniture will actually feel in the space.

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Whether your ceilings are low or high, or your space is small or spacious, it is important to choose furniture that is the appropriate size and scale.

When it comes to furnishing a space, often the focus is on style and color. But other important aspects for a successful space — such as size and scale — should also play a role.

In spaces that are large and cavernous, oversize pieces will likely be successful as they are needed to help fill the room. In these cases, choose pieces that are heavier to help as weight in the room. Selections such as wood and upholstered furniture pieces will be more inviting than transparent surfaces such as glass.

Conversely, if you have a small space, you will need to add a sense of spaciousness. You will not want the space to feel closed in. Look for furniture selections that are smaller in scale so the space doesn’t feel overstuffed.

When looking to select furniture of the appropriate size and scale, here are some do’s and don’ts:


  • Select furniture that is low in profile if you have low ceilings. Tall pieces will close the room in and make the ceilings feel even lower.
  • Use light colors versus darker tones in small spaces. Lighter colors will open up a space.
  • Select the proper number of items for your space. Buying a complete set may not always be a solution — for many people, it is simply too much furniture.
  • Have a cohesive color scheme. Tying pieces together using color can help a space feel connected.
  • Select furniture and accessories that are timeless as opposed to trendy. These will be selections that are more long-lasting.


  • Use pieces that are tall or have high backs in spaces with low ceilings. Instead, use pieces that are low in profile. A simple trick, like removing back cushions off a sofa or swapping out tall furniture feet for those lower in profile, can help.
  • Forget the power of mirrors. They can act as windows, especially in spaces that don’t get much light.
  • Be afraid to use oversize artwork. If you have tall ceilings, large art hung in twos or even threes can be very effective.
  • Overstuff a space. Rooms tend to be most unsuccessful when they are overfilled with furniture.